No place for physical education & sports in SNC


Single National Curriculum drafted for primary level is at least a step forward in the fulfillment of PTI’s very first promise (Uniform Education) from the 11-Point Manifesto of their election campaign. Considering the 18th Amendment, what will be the practical implications of One Nation – One Curriculum in a multicultural society like Pakistan is yet another debate
Something that is not only shocking but also very upsetting is the absolute absence of PE & Sports in the SNC for primary. The drafts that have recently been made public are a total of eight documents (ECCE, English, General Knowledge, General Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Urdu and Islamiat) very comprehensively highlighting the holistic development of children. But in this whole process, a subject that is globally acknowledged for the holistic development has not even been considered. Was there not a single member of the committee to advise that active learning is a holistic process that will remain incomplete without incorporating PE & Sports as a full fledge subject right from the primary level.
According to the website of the National Council of Curriculum and Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training the constituted committee of SNC has consulted and compared the Curriculum of Cambridge, Singapore Malaysia and Indonesia before presenting the draft of the SNC. To my little knowledge all of these countries have incorporated Physical Education & Sports right from primary levels and this can be verified by some clicks on Google. Unlike us, global key stakeholders of sports and education have provided curriculum outlines for the PE & Sports. Few examples of such efforts of the International organizations are Quality Physical Education Framework, QPE of UNESCO, OVEP of IOC, PE for Primary and Secondary by Cambridge and range of toolkits available at the Sports and Development websites funded by DFID and other agencies working for the development of sports. The curriculum council could have taken guidelines from these free resources or could have simply contacted either the School Education Department, Government of Punjab for sharing the outlines of the Sports Manuals prepared for primary and secondary level in 2019 or the Directorate of Curriculum and Teachers Education, Abbottabad KPK for sharing insights of the Curriculum for Health & Physical Education drafted for Grade 1 to 12 back in 2015. This whole scenario sheds light on the coordination of the provincial and federal governments in policy level reforms that will have impacts on the generations to come. This is a serious concern especially NOW while people from every part of the world are stressing on the importance of mental and physical health of children. There are discussions going on about including a designated hour for mental health in schools just across the border and global school community is making polices to work on mindfulness and physical fitness, here we are turning a blind eye to a subject that can be of great help not only in improving the social, cognitive and life skills of young children but also bringing a paradigm shift in the overall achievements at school.
I urge all children, parents, athletes, coaches, sports administrators and other stakeholders of sports to remind the council of curriculum that this Is A Sate Led By A Sportsman, therefore PE & Sports cannot be ignored as a separate academic subject at primary level.